CAPE TOWN, July 12 (Xinhua) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Sunday the resumption of a series of strict restrictions to curb the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and related deaths.
South Africa will resume the ban on the sale, dispensing and distribution of alcohol with immediate effect, in order to conserve hospital capacity, Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation.
There is now clear evidence that the resumption of alcohol sales has resulted in substantial pressure on hospitals, including trauma units and intensive care units, due to motor vehicle accidents, violence and related trauma, Ramaphosa said.
South Africa lifted the ban on alcohol sales on June 1 when it relaxed lockdown restrictions, a move that has led to alcohol abuse across the country, complicating efforts to curb COVID-19.
Most of the traumatic injuries related to alcohol abuse occur at night, the president said.
"Therefore, as an additional measure to reduce the pressure on hospitals, a curfew will be put in place between the hours of 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.," he said.
Under the curfew that will take effect on Monday, everyone will be required to stay at home, except those who need to travel to and from work or who need to seek urgent medical or other assistance during this time.